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Cannabis has tremendous potential to treat both somatic and cerebral aspects of human health.
In this class, Michele Ross, PhD, the Executive Director of Impact Network, goes in-depth to explore the parameters of this potential, particularly in regard to how cannabis works within our brains.
Beginning with an overview of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the key cannabinoid receptors in the brain, she illustrates how the ECS regulates other neurotransmitters including dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin. Identifying Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency – a term first coined in 2003 - as an underlying cause of neurophysiological ailments including migraine headaches and fibromyalgia, Dr. Ross draws parallels to other neurotransmitter deficiencies that precipitate disease (like dopamine deficiency and Parkinson’s).
Dr. Ross explains how understanding this connection can help facilitate promising new therapeutic treatments using cannabis, outlining the specific mechanisms involved and the role cannabinoids play in treating conditions including ADHD, PTSD and depression.
She also discusses the risk factors and progression cycle of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and how studies have shown that cannabis can bolster the ECS to slow the disease, highlighting its properties as an antiaging, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotectant with the potential to restore cognitive function.
Dr. Ross’s presentation covers:
- The Endocannabinoid System in the Brain
- Ways to Consume Cannabis
- Potential Side Effects and Drug Interactions of Cannabis & CBD
- How Cannabis is Used for Attention and Mood Disorders
- How Cannabis Treats Migraines
- How Cannabis Can Be Used to Control Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cannabis Use for Parkinson’s Disease
Directed toward the research, pharmaceutical, disease non-profit and medical communities, Dr. Ross lays out a visionary plan to expand the study, acceptance and implementation of cannabis as a viable, effective treatment for brain and neurological disorders
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As a neuroscientist, she was frustrated by the lack of education on the endocannabinoid system both doctors and scientists received, despite medical cannabis being used by millions of patients nationwide. In 2013, she founded the "Endocannabinoid Deficiency Foundation," now known as IMPACT Network, with the mission to drive clinical research on cannabis for women’s health.
Dr. Ross is both a cannabinoid medicine researcher and a cannabis patient. After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, neuropathy, and chronic pelvic pain, cannabis was the only thing that reduced her symptoms and allowed her to return to work. After hearing thousands of extraordinary patient stories just like hers, Dr. Ross was compelled to ensure cannabis becomes part of the American healthcare system.
Dr. Ross is a proud advocate of botanical and psychedelic medicine, and has formulated and marketed nutraceuticals for companies around the globe. She has also been a leader in digital health and education, crafting continuing medical education for health professionals as well as creating online communities for patients. She is also author of two books, “Train Your Brain to Get Thin” and “Vitamin Weed: A 4-Step Plan to Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency.” Dr. Ross holds a Doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and has researched addiction, mental health, and psychopharmacology for over a decade.
Today, IMPACT Network is the leading medical cannabis research and education organization for women, with global reach to a worldwide medical cannabis community of patients, healthcare professionals, and clinical partners.
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